Music

Alcides Rodriguez: From Wind Section To Center Stage, Maracas In Hand

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musician Alcides Rodriguez will leave his clarinet backstage this week, instead performing a concerto for maracas by Ricardo Lorenz.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musician Alcides Rodriguez will leave his clarinet backstage this week, instead performing a concerto for maracas by Ricardo Lorenz.
Credit Derek Blanks

Atlanta audiences know Alcides Rodriguez primarily as a clarinetist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. But this week, he’s going from the wind section to center stage, maracas in hand.

He’ll perform the rarely heard “Concerto for Maracas,” written by fellow Venezuelan musician Ricardo Lorenz. On “City Lights,” Rodriguez told host Lois Reitzes about the style of maracas-playing particular to Venezuela and Colombia and how he learned about the unique music he’ll perform.

Rodriguez’s stature as a musician owes a great deal to El Sistema, the Venezuelan government program that provides musical training and instruments to children throughout the country, regardless of family income.

Reitzes took the opportunity to speak with Rodriguez about his impressions of music education in the United States today.

Rodriguez performs the delightful “Concerto for Maracas” by Lorenz Thursday and Saturday, March 15 and 17, at Symphony Hall. Guest conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya will lead the ASO in an all-Latin music program.